State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Sunday criticised those who indulge themselves in ‘cheap politics’ when it comes to issues relating to India, Agencies report.
Apparently criticising the comments of opposition leaders on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s just-concluded New Delhi visit, he sought ‘responsible behaviors’ from citizens and political parties while judging relations with any country.
“Our relationship with India (through the visit) has been expanded. It has created confidence and restored trust with the establishment of equal dignity,” Shahriar said while addressing as the chief guest at a dialogue at the Jatiya Press Club on the visit.
The State Minister said Bangladesh also conveyed its message to India over the areas of non-fulfillment through appropriate languages.
Convener of the seminar, meet-the-press and international liaison sub-committee of the Press Club Shymol Dutta moderated the dialogue participated by former diplomats, security experts and senior journalists.
Jatiya Press Club president Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman, general secretary Farida Yasmin, senior vice-president Saiful Alam, vice-president Azizul Islam Bhuiyan, Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rashid, former JPC general secretary Kamrul Islam Chowdhury, former ambassador Shafiullah, Prof Dr Tareque Shamsur Rahman, former ambassador Wali-ur Rahman and The Daily Prothom Alo senior journalist Sohrab Hossain, among others, took part in the discussion.
Apparently pointing finger at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her party’s secretary general, Shahriar Alam said some unexpected issues were raised before the visit took place.
He said there is no example in the world that the agreements are revealed before such a visit takes place. “Please, tell me if I’m wrong. Even though, we made things open and clear as much as we can.”
The State Minister also said though both the Prime Ministers reiterated that the number of deaths at the border must be brought down to a zero level and directed the concerned authorities to work towards that end, some raised questions claiming there has been no word on border killings.
Security expert Abdur Rashid said through the visit goals have been set on three major areas — collective prosperity, regional peace and stability; development.
“If we can have economic, trade and cultural ties with India, why not defence cooperation?” he said on defence cooperation between the two countries.
The security expert said without defence cooperation or military diplomacy two countries cannot have a lasting diplomatic relations.
“When Bangladesh and India build friendship than a circle of power emerges in the region. This power surely makes some countries worried. Pakistan gets worried the most through such friendship between Bangladesh and India,” Abdur Rashid explained.
He Pakistan will gradually get isolated with the stronger partnership between Bangladesh and India.
Farida Yasmin said the Indian central government like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not accept proposal made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
She hoped that the relations between the two countries will improve further through resolving all pending issues.
Shymol Dutta said he does not agree with West Bengal Chief Minister’s alternative water-sharing proposal.
“Her statement is baseless. Water must be shared equally with Bangladesh. You must,” he said adding that Bangladesh needs to strengthen its diplomatic efforts to realize the goal.
The speakers laid emphasis on having a dedicated desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with India as Bangladesh’s relations with India is expanding rapidly.
They also laid emphasis on strong monitoring over the project implementation to be taken under the new US$ 4.5 billion line of credit announced by Indian government.